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Toyota's secret performance car plan! Lotus firms as production partner for reborn MR2 - reports

Toyota's secret performance car plan!

Toyota's new MR2 could be developed as a joint-venture with iconic performance brand Lotus, as the Japanese giant looks further afield to make its "three brothers" dream come true.

That's the word from Japanese auto sleuths Best Car Web, who report that Lotus is firming as the production partner for a new MR2, which would join the 86 and Supra in the brand's performance line-up.

The intriguing part, though, is what might be powering a joint-venture model. Lotus has made no bones about its shift to being an all-electric company by the end of this decade, with the Evija to be the first of an entirely new, and entirely electric, range.

If Toyota does partner with Lotus for its new vehicle, then that would suggest the MR2 would be at least partly electric, if not entirely electric, making it potentially Toyota's first full-EV performance vehicle.

These are, of course, just rumours for now. But we do know that Toyota executives have been touting a return of the MR2 nameplate since as far back as 2018, part of the brand's "three brother" strategy that would see the Toyota 86 and Supra joined by a third dedicated performance vehicle.

And that comes from Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, who told Evo in 2019 that the move would mirror the MR2, Celica, Supra line-up of the 1990s.

For now, though, we'll have to wait and see.